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Brock Farms Re-Zoning Tabled After Residents Protest at Committee Meeting

The biggest concerns among residents are deviation from the master plan, increased traffic and safety as well as environmental and aesthetic effects.

The Freehold Township Committee decided to put a hold on the re-zoning of after over a hundred residents showed up at the meeting on Feb. 28 to protest the proposed change.

Councilman Eugene Golub motioned for the ordinance to be tabled. “Since so many people came out, I would like some time to think about what has been discussed tonight,” said Golub.

According to the ordinance, the re-zoning would allow for Brock Farms to become a B-2 (Commercial) zone and a new PAC-2 (Planned Adult Community) zone.

The property, which is over one hundred acres, is currently zoned to allow for the development of one home per every two acres. This new PAC-2 zoning allows for the development of four homes per every acre. The additional commercial zoning would allow for the development of a strip mall to accompany the 55+ community.

Over 25 residents came to the microphone to not to pass the ordinance.

Michael Fogerty, a , was one of the concerned residents who spoke on these topics and summed up the main concerns of all the residents.

“On behalf of the residents attending tonight and dozens of others that could not make it we state that we are not opposed to development as long as such development is consistent with the hard work and planning that has gone on prior to this request,” said Fogerty.

The biggest concerns among residents who spoke were deviation from the master plan, increased traffic and safety as well as environmental and aesthetic effects.

With the concern of the Master Plan, Fogerty said, “The re-zoning of Brock Farm could start a ‘domino effect’ to re-zone this other land to further deviate from the Master Plan.” He also urged the committee to look into the status of a previously PAC-2 zoned property in Freehold Township that has yet to be developed.

With the concern of traffic and safety, Fogerty referenced Western Monmouth County Route 537 Corridor Study from 2004. “The data I just described depicts a major transportation corridor that is beyond the point of necessary improvements. Now 8 years later we have not seen any of these recommended improvements yet we are here tonight discussing the rezoning of land that would further create a travel hardship and more importantly a safety concern for Freehold residents and our surrounding townships,” said Fogerty.

Many 537 accident victims, parents and residents along the road also stood up to second this point and voice their extreme concerns with the safety issues that would arise with adding additional traffic to this area of the road.

As for an environmental concern, Fogerty said, “The primary boundary of this site includes the known extent of the wetland habitat containing Federally-listed threatened plants along with the surrounding lowland habitat and the upland-lowland boundary.”

As for aesthetics, many residents spoke out on how Freehold Township has changed in recent years and longed to hold onto one of the last farms in the area. Residents touched on points such as reduced property value, feeling deceived as homeowners who thought they’d be living in a residential neighborhood and changing the feel of the neighborhood.

Some committee members touched on some positive points of re-zoning this area to a PAC-2.

Mayor Anthony Ammiano described the need for this type of housing in the township for seniors. “They have to sell their houses and move to Howell because they can no longer afford to live in Freehold on a fixed income,” explained the Mayor. “This is an affordable housing project that would allow them to stay.”

Councilman Golub said that this would increase revenue without adding much more additional expenses to the Township. “The seniors pay the same taxes, but do not reap all the benefits,” he said. He added in comparison to single-family homes, there would not be an increase in students in the school system, the community would be gated so the township would not have to pay for snow clean-up, maintenance or recycling pick-up.

The meeting ended at 11:30 p.m. when Councilman Golub motioned to table the discussing.

The motion is tabled until April 24. There will be another public hearing where residents are invited again to come and voice their concerns.

Joe February 29, 2012 at 10:40 PM
These are the very same politicians that rezoned F/T years ago because it was becoming too developed! Dave Salkin was the key player and now he is silent????
Neil February 29, 2012 at 11:29 PM
I find it interesting that we were being told last night that all land owners have the right to develope their land!!! and if the Township Committee and Zoning Board did not approve this request, a lawsuit would ensue and a Judge would then rule against the Township and could allow any type of developement. REALLY!!! Isn't that whats being forced down our throats now? Where would our country be if our forefathers decided the revolution wasn't worth the risk because if we lost England would do whatever they wanted to the colonies? C,mon if your that afraid to make a decision on whats best for all the residents of Freehold Township, rather than one land owner and a developer, maybe its time to step down and have someone who will not be afraid to stand up and fight for whats right.
Donna Finck March 01, 2012 at 01:49 AM
Donna How about an community for 52+ ?
ROK March 01, 2012 at 03:17 AM
Since when does Freehold Township pay for residents Garbage Disposal?
Noel Aliseo March 01, 2012 at 05:14 AM
Sorry about that. I misinterpreted my notes. The article should have said that the township would not have to pick-up recycling. I made the correction in the article. Thank you for bringing it to my attention!
Sam March 01, 2012 at 12:35 PM
Amen, I think it's time for a governing change in freehold township! They have been there to long! When was the last time something was done to benefit the residents of freehold township, I can't remember!
Dave March 01, 2012 at 02:28 PM
Dave Salkin voted NO on the ordinance~
Joe March 01, 2012 at 08:10 PM
PLEASE go get an education regarding our Constitution before making such ridiculous comments!
Joe March 01, 2012 at 08:16 PM
Let's face it F/T is in deep financial trouble due to the decision to "build out" made years ago, now the funds have all dried up. Should it be rezoned? absolutely not, they made a huge mistake years ago building Staten Island McMansions with 20 ft set backs.
sgmbh March 01, 2012 at 11:10 PM
Is your planner Tom Thomas? Has he been the Township Planner for many years?
Ann March 02, 2012 at 08:35 PM
If land owners have a right to develop their land then why are land owners being denied requests as small as building a 1500 sq foot home? The average guy has to jump through hoops to get any thing done on their properties. But if you have money you pretty much don't get denied anything!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Joe March 02, 2012 at 09:38 PM
Ann, just because a land owner has the right to develop their land, it does not mean they don't have to conform with certain building codes or restrictions. Now, no one is claiming that Brock can put anything he wants there! He has the right to petition the township, you have the right to object and vote. I think we still call that a Democracy and a Republic!
Joe March 02, 2012 at 09:39 PM
and it's seriously pathetic that people don't understand their own laws! WTF do we teach in our schools?
Ann March 06, 2012 at 06:45 PM
Joe, we do have the right to object - but the guys that sit at the front table at the committee meetings are the ones who vote - so who needs to understand the laws better?
Joe March 06, 2012 at 06:48 PM
They only understand re election and who pays that bill.......
Bonnie March 08, 2012 at 12:23 AM
What will happen to our school budgets if another senior housing development is built? In towns such as Manalapan the school budgets are generally voted down. What about our kids...they deserve the best education we can give them. I don't have any children in the school system but I still want these kids to have the best education we can give them.
Joe March 08, 2012 at 02:08 AM
Oh, our poor children, those precious little gems, how will they get a job when all the painters, carpenters, plumbers, etc, etc are unemployed because F/T decided to not build anymore.....

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